Joplin Family YMCA to Provide Free Childcare Services for Families Affected By Tornado

May 25, 2011

JOPLIN, Mo., May 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In an effort to lend a helping hand to individuals and families greatly affected by the deadly May 22 tornado, the Joplin Family YMCA is providing free childcare services. The program, a partnership with the United Way of Southwest Missouri & Southeast Kansas, the local chapter of the American Red Cross, and Missouri Southern State University, is open to children up to age 14.

The United Way of Southwest Missouri & Southeast Kansas is helping to fund the program, and the Y is also requesting the public’s support. Donations should be made to the Joplin Family YMCA, with a notation that funds are to be earmarked for “Joplin Childcare Relief.”

As part of this partnership, Missouri Southern State University will provide childcare services to infants, and the American Red Cross will help to refer families to this program.

“Our hope is that this program will be meaningful and long-lasting, something that will continue long after the rescue trucks are gone,” says Cookie Estrada, Executive Director of the Joplin Family YMCA. “We will continue this program as long as funds hold out.”

Estrada adds, “As we look toward the economic redevelopment of our community, we feel this program will have a major impact as we help take away the worry for parents on how their children will be cared for. Many individuals will be finding themselves unemployed or with drastic cuts in income, with no way to afford childcare. By leading this effort, we feel like we can help our area recover that much faster.”

The Y also is asking for facilities to step forward if they are interested in joining this effort by becoming a drop-off site for the program. In addition, the Y is seeking teachers and educational professionals who may want to volunteer. Corporate sponsors are also welcomed so that program funding can be extended.

“The Y has taken a leadership role in childcare for years, and with a crisis of this magnitude, it makes sense for us to step up and serve the community by heading up this effort,” says Amy York, Associate Executive Director of the Joplin Family YMCA. “We also feel this concerted effort will help eliminate duplication of services.”

“We are able to purchase food at an extremely reasonable cost, and we know what’s nutritional, so the children in the program are assured of quality, professional care,” York adds.

Personnel at the Y point out that not only does this program provide much-needed help for parents, but it also serves as a welcome refuge and a healthy distraction for children affected by the recent disaster.

To inquire about the free childcare service, please contact either Y location: the Joplin Family YMCA at 510 Wall Street or the Joplin Family YMCA South Branch at 3404 W McIntosh Cir Dr, or call the Y at 417-623-4597.

In addition, at both Joplin Y facilities, individuals are welcome to take showers at no charge. Showers will be offered as long as needed.

Those interested in making donations to support this cause, becoming a corporate sponsor, offering drop-off sites or volunteering, please call 417-623-4597.

Amy York
Joplin Family YMCA

SOURCE Joplin Family YMCA

Source: newswire

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